Bauer Prof Named To Chicago Fed’s Working Group on Financial Markets

Published on May 3, 2011

Finance Professor Pirrong Will Share Insight on Commodities and Derivatives

Prof. Pirrong is internationally regarded for his expertise in finance issues.

Craig Pirrong — the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business professor who is a nationally regarded and frequently quoted expert on commodities and derivatives — has been named to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Working Group on Financial Markets.

Pirrong, a professor in the Department of Finance since 2003, was notified of his selection late last month and will attend his first meeting on May 24. The position is open-ended. Pirrong’s appointment speaks to his growing reputation as an expert on energy markets and policy. It also brings prestige to Bauer College and its Global Energy Management Institute, where Pirrong is Energy Markets Director.

“Craig is a great example of a Bauer College faculty member who is sought after by the community and industry for their knowledge and expertise in a particular area,” said Interim Dean Latha Ramchand. “Our faculty exemplifies the Tier One level of excellence found on campus.”

Says Pirrong, “I’m honored to have the opportunity to participate with distinguished members of the financial community in policy discussion relating to my areas of expertise.”

The Working Group, Pirrong explained, “consists primarily of senior representatives of big financial institutions, particularly those in Chicago, and a few academics like me. The Group is set up essentially to get feedback on various policy issues affecting the financial sector. For example, the next meeting is going to be on collateral in over-the-counter derivatives transactions, an important issue related to the operation of financial markets.

“This is an important issue to financial institutions, whether they be banks or hedge funds or big industrial companies like Caterpillar or energy companies like Shell, in terms of how they have to manage their trade and how they have to put up capital and so on.”

Though Pirrong jokes that his research and analysis often sounds like “inside baseball,” the fluctuating oil market has made him a hot property among journalists covering the energy industry. He has recently been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Bloomberg, Reuters and Fox News.

Bauer College’s Global Energy Management Institute, created in 2001, serves as a resource to the energy industry, which dominates the Houston economy, and has positioned the university as a trusted and reliable source of information on energy topics.

Before arriving at UH, Pirrong served on the faculties of Oklahoma State University, the University of Michigan, the University of Chicago and Washington  University. His pithy and opinionated musings on financial markets, global energy policy and regulations, international politics, and numerous other topics can be found on his blog, streetwiseprofessor.com.

Pirrong, who holds a Ph.D. in business economics from the University of Chicago, has deep roots in the Windy City’s academic and business communities. “I grew up in Chicago, and I worked in financial markets for a couple of years (1986-1987) when I was in grad school. I consider myself a Chicagoan, who got to Texas as soon as he could.”

By Wendell Brock